Thursday, August 9, 2007

Grand Rapids Community College Admits to Taxpayer Extortion

Today's Grand Rapids Press reports that Grand Rapids Community College is backing down from its prior threats to raise tuition if the millage that failed on Tuesday didn't pass. This is typical behavior of bureaucrats and those who love to spend other people's money. How often do we hear from city government politicans that if they don't raise taxes or get more revenue sharing that they will have to cut fire and police? It's the same concept - what we call taxpayer extortion. Remember how the mafia used to require "protection" payments? The concept here isn't too different. Bureaucrats threaten that crime will skyrocket, everyone's tuition will go up, trash won't get picked up, well, you pick your poison. It's the usual argument that the sky will fall if a tax increase isn't passed.

Well, GRCC did it and the taxpayers called the bluff. And guess what. They were bluffing. The frustrating part was the sheer amount of coverage this and related GRCC issues received in the GR Press in the run-up to the election. The bias was clear.

What do the bureaucrats have to say now? "Nevermind! Just kidding!"

It's time to pass a state law to require that all tax issues be kept on only the November ballot.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Grand Rapids Community College Fails (Again)

The perfidy of the GRCC board of trustees was called out by the taxpayers of Kent County last night. Out of over 63,000 votes cast, the second millage request in three months failed by 361 votes. Perhaps it was the fact that everyone just paid their summer property taxes and that was fresh on their minds. Or perhaps it was the fact that GRCC attempted to jerry-rig the election by holding it at a time when the majority of voters would be from the city of Grand Rapids (and outlying townships had nothing else to vote on).

Or perhaps it was a small group of taxpayers called Kent County Families for Fiscal Responsibility. The group opposed the millage request earlier this year for the disastrous waste of money called The Rapid. This time they opposed the GRCC millage request because of the clear contempt of the taxpayer showed by the GRCC board of trustees. According to the WOOD Radio news web site, KCFFR targeted the townships that GRCC expected to have a low turnout:

Dr. Eric Larson, head of the opposition against the vote via Kent County Families for Fiscal Responsbility says they targeted areas in outlying areas like Chester Township and Georgetown Twp. and were able to add to their "no" results with flyers, media print ads and the like.

It's probably safe to say that KCFFR's effort, no matter how small, invalidated the $100,000 that the GRCC supporters spent this time (again). What a great example of how local citizens can stand up and make a difference to stop the tax and spend steamrollers that run our local government entities.